An Internet radio is an audio broadcast over the web rather than the regular radio transmission. Internet broadcasting is also called webcasting. This type of technology has been around since the late 1990s. Internet radio has created a more convenient way of listening to radio stations. It has a huge selection of radio stations that you can listen to. You can even listen to radio stations from other countries. Radio stations from different countries can be easily accessed through the Internet. Online radio is different from podcasting. Podcasting is focused more on downloading rather than streaming. Many Internet radio stations are part of the traditional or regular radio stations. Internet-only radio stations are independent from these groups.
An Internet radio player is a type of software that independently receives and plays music from a computer. It is used to play Internet radio stations or other online music services through its home network.
So how does an Internet player work? It is through the use of streaming audio. Audio streaming is a way of continuously transmitting audio files that are then received by a user. Radio stations can broadcast their signal over regular radio waves and the Internet in real time. The concept of Internet radio is similar to regular radio stations. But instead of using the airwaves used by standard AM/FM radio, Internet radio is directly transmitted to computers or devices through the use of the Internet. Streaming also helps eliminate lengthy download times.
- Computers are used to store audio files. They operate as the music server. With the use of server software, it will create a connection through the computer to the data source. The data source must comply with the Digital Living Network Alliance Standard. Once the connection is established, the network music player receives the data. It will start playing the audio file. The audio file can start playing even before the entire file is completely downloaded to the computer.
- Another type of Internet radio is through the services built through music recommendation. This works through a simple computer algorithm. This algorithm automatically plays songs that are closely similar to the song that has been requested. For example, a song is requested by searching for the artist. After the song is finished playing, the computer will automatically choose to play songs in the same search category. The order of selection will be ranked from the choices of other users.
- The last type of Internet Radio is the Internet-exclusive radio networks. These operate almost like regular live radio stations. The difference is that they work only through the Internet. These radio stations can broadcast comedy shows, talk shows, or play live music. The audio content is first downloaded on the user’s computer and then uploaded to the server. The audio content can then be accessed by listeners through applications such as Winamp and Windows Media Player. It can be aired in a delayed broadcast or in real time depending on the user.
Internet radio services are accessible worldwide. But in some countries like the UK and in the US, they administer listening restrictions because of advertising concerns and music licensing. Internet radio services offer news, talk, sports and different genres of music.
Internet radio reception is not just for downloading free music. Some companies produce streaming equipment and players to sustain this system. Through Internet radio players, listening to music becomes more state-of-the-art than your regular listening habits.